A teacher is a trait builder – someone who not only educates you, but also helps you build a character and a personality that will help the society; talk to someone influential, someone who has made a change in the world and chances are that they will always talk about one or more teachers who has made a difference in their lives. Teachers’ Day is around the corner and before you rush to your nearest store to look for Teachers Day gifts, it would be interesting to spend a minute and read about the history of the day and the reason for celebration.
Why do we celebrate Teacher’s Day?In 1966, a special intergovernmental conference chose to adopt an endorsement put forth by UNESCO and the idea behind this endorsement was to celebrate the accomplishments of teachers all over the world and the overall benefits they handed to the society at large. A day needed to be chosen that would put the spotlight on the work that teachers were doing in the field of education. Eventually, in the year 1994, 5th October was chosen to celebrate World’s Teachers’ Day.
However, in India, Teachers’ Day is celebrated every year on the 5th of September and this is to honour every teacher, who strives in the path of one teacher, who had a huge role in shaping modern India. On September 5th, 1888, in the town of Tiruttani (in erstwhile Madras Presidency and in present day Andhra Pradesh) a baby boy was born – named Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, this boy was destined for greatness. Not only did he go onto become the first vice president and second president of India, he was one of the most renowned scholars and philosophers of all time. It is the birthday of this Bharat Ratna awardee that is celebrated in our country as Teachers’ Day.
Why is Dr. Radhakrishnan such an important part of Indian history?India has been home to several teachers, who have imparted knowledge that has traversed the globe – from Mahavir to Gautam Buddha, from Kabir to Dr. APJ Kalam. These are teachers who have not only provided knowledge, but also shaped generations and created leaders of the world – would there be a Dalai Lama without Gautam Buddha and would there be a thriving Indian Space Research Organisation without a Dr. Kalam to push the scientific minds! Dr. Radhakrishnan was one such exemplary teacher and here are just some of the incredible things he did:
- As a brilliant student, Dr. Radhakrishnan studied mostly on the scholarships he won and went onto earn a masters degree in philosophy, after which, he became a teacher of the same subject in Madras Presidency College.
- In 1921, he was appointed as a professor in the department of philosophy and was invited to occupy the King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science at the University of Calcutta.
- Between 1931 and 1936, he continued in academia as the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University and then succeeded Madan Mohan Malviya as the Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University in 1939.
- In 1931, he was knighted by the British Government for his exemplary work in academia, and in 1963 he was made an honorary member of the British Royal Order of Merit.
- In 1954, he was awarded the highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna as well as the German Order pour le Merite for Arts and Science.
For Dr. Radhakrishnan, teachers and education were important factors for a developing democracy like India – it would be the teachers who would impart knowledge and wisdom to the younger generation, so that they would be empowered to make the right decisions and build a better India. In a book that he wrote on Bhagwad Gita, he defined a teacher as, “The one who emphasizes on presentation to converge different currents of thoughts to the same end” and that was something he truly believed in. this was one of the reasons why his wisdom was so highly appreciated when he decided to enter politics – people admired his nation building skills and his capacity to tell off someone who was not doing their job properly.
The celebrations:BC or Before Covid, Teachers’ Day would be a day of fun and revelry between teachers and students – students would spend days rehearsing songs, dances, plays, and interesting activities that they could showcase for the teachers, who would be treated as the guests of honour. Many schools and colleges would have games and activities for their teachers to enjoy – some would even have a fun fair, allowing the teachers to let their hair down! Home décor gifts have been most popular with students, because they would be of the belief that their teachers would be able to enjoy pretty looking things for their home. Kitchenware and home utility items such as bedspreads are also quite popular as gifts.
However, in the past year and of course this year too, Teachers’ Day celebrations have been a lot different – with the pandemic still around, meeting teachers is happening only in the virtual world. Neither are the children able to meet their teachers nor the teachers, their students and while there has been a certain pall of gloom, there is much to cheer about too. For instance, it does not take a rocket scientist to appreciate the amount of work that teachers, all over the country have been putting in, to ensure that children continue to get an education.
Teachers who had little knowledge of technology are now creating PowerPoint presentations and understanding the nitty gritty of online classroom software applications. They are learning to assign homework online and make the corrections online too – and they are working extra hard to ensure that not only are the children continuing to learn, they are also enjoying their online sessions. And while nothing compares to a face to face interaction, there is no much that can be done for the time being.
However, there is no reason why students should not look for gifts for their teachers, even this year – you can order at eCraftIndia and we will ensure that your gift reaches your teachers’ doorstep. You can look at spiritual gifts such as Gautam Buddha Statues that can inspire them to stay calm, even when the online session might be going slightly crazy! Our range of gifts includes several home décor options, including table décor, wall hangings, clocks, and more.
This year, take the time and effort to make your teachers realise how cherished and valued they are, and applaud their efforts during their difficult times. And if you are looking for the perfect gifts, simply come to eCraftIndia!